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Earliest meeting: Tuesday 20th October 1835
Final meeting: Wednesday 15th April 1846
The first record of a race meeting in the Leicestershire town of Ashby-de-la-Zouch was on Tuesday 20th October 1835 on a course on the outskirts of the town, starting in Mr Callis’s field and finishing near the Tinker’s Tree. By 1838 the Sporting Magazine was including Ashby results in its reports. That meeting took place on Monday 19th March 1838 and Pointer, owned by Mr Woodhouse and ridden by Capenhurst, won the principal Sweepstakes of the day. It was not until 1841 that the meeting was deemed to be sufficiently important to be included in Baily's Racing Register. There were 2 prominent race sponsors that day in the Marquis of Hastings and the Earl of Chesterfield. Whilst the course was predominantly a National Hunt course, Flat racing was introduced in 1839 and continued until 1842, although there was one further Flat race meeting on 8th October 1845. The final meeting took place on Wednesday 15th April 1846.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 1 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Marquis of Hastings, Earl of Chesterfield
Principal Races Donnington Park Stakes, Marquis of Hastings Hunters Stakes, Earl of Chesterfield Hurdle Race

Monday 19th March 1838

Ashby 3 Sovereign Sweepstakes
1. Pointer owned by Mr Woodhouse and ridden by Capenhurst

Ashby Purse
1. Unnamed gelding owned by Mr Allsell and ridden by Barker

Tuesday 5th October 1841

Donnington Park Stakes over 2 ½ miles
1. Finality owned by Mr Robinson
2. White-Stockings owned by Mr Westley

The Marquis of Hastings Hunters Stakes over 2 miles
1. Dick Turpin owned by Mr Denham
2. Isabella owned by Mr Pilkington
3. Brewood owned by Mr Booth

The Earl of Chesterfield Hurdle Race over 2 miles and 4 hurdles
1. Duenna owned by Mr Higgins

The final meeting took place on Wednesday 15th April 1846
Course today

In fields on the outskirts of town owned by Mr Callis and finishing at the Tinker’s Tree.

If you have photos, postcards, racecards. badges, newspaper cuttings or book references about the old course, or can provide a photo of how the ground on which the old racecourse stood looks today, then email

Much of the information about this course has been found using internet research and is in the public domain. However, useful research sources have been:-

London Illustrated News

Racing Illustrated 1895-1899

The Sporting & Dramatic Illustrated

Northern Turf History Volumes 1-4 by J.Fairfax-Blakeborough

The Sporting Magazine

A Long Time Gone by Chris Pitt first published in 1996 ISBN 0 900599 89 8

Racing Calendars which were first published in 1727

ISBN 978-0-9957632-0-3

652 pages

774 former courses

ISBN 978-0-9957632-1-0

352 pages

400 former courses

ISBN 978-0-9957632-2-7

180 pages

140 former courses

ISBN 978-0-9957632-3-4

264 pages

235 former courses

Copies of the above books are only available by emailing stating your requirements, method of payment (cheque payable to W.Slusar) or Bank transfer, and the address where the book(s) should be sent.
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Volume 1 North of Hatfield £19.99 + £4 postage    
Volume 2 South of Hatfield £14.99 + £3 postage    
Volume 3 Wales & Scotland £9.99 + £3 postage    
Volume 4 Ireland £9.99 + £3 postage    
Volumes 1 - 4 £54.96 + £5 postage    
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